Lottery grant to help pigeon-fanciers

Hi-tech pigeon racers are among four North Norfolk groups to benefit from a share of almost �170,000 in lottery grants.The North Norfolk Pigeon Racing Club, based in Cawston, won the maximum grant of �10,000 from Awards for All to fund a computerised system that will enable disabled and elderly people with movement difficulties to participate in the sport.

DISABLED pigeon fanciers will help their birds come home to roost thanks to a lottery grant.

A �10,000 grant from the Lottery's Awards for All programme to North Norfolk Pigeon Racing Club will allow disabled club members to use a computerised clocking system that will let them participate equally with other members.

One of the 11 members to benefit, Susan Dorritt, who has MS and ataxia, helped her husband clock in his pigeons at the end of races for more than a decade before her hands began to shake so severely that she could no longer remove the rubber tags from her husband's pigeons at the end of races.

Her husband, Roy Dorritt, said: 'This new system is absolutely fabulous.'

The normal practice at the end of races is for rubber race tags on the birds' legs to be manually removed and time-stamped.

The new hi-tech equipment allows people who cannot quickly remove the manual tags to take part without being at a disadvantage.

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The money will also be funding systems for new members, a laptop and other equipment.

North Norfolk Pigeon Racing Club meets monthly at the Scout Hut in Cawston. The next meeting is on April 17. For more information contact Phil Canham on 01328 822197.

Three other north Norfolk groups won a share of the �170,000 awarded by the programme, which gives money to grass-roots community groups and voluntary organisations.

The Mill School of Gymnastics received �10,000, which has been spent on a wide range of gym equipment for the two venues the school uses, one in Aylsham and the other in Northrepps

The 1895 (Cromer) Squadron Air Training Corps was given �9,731 which will be spent on top-end adventure training equipment to allow the cadets, aged between 13 and 18, to go on expeditions to remote areas of the UK and overseas.

The North Norfolk Local Group of Norfolk Wildlife Trust received �1,172, which will be spent on digital slides and projections to accompany their wildlife talks. Other local groups including the Cley Bird Club will benefit from this resource.